Connectforce Community CIC
is a social enterprise.
We make it easy for artists to volunteer their skills to create conversation and friendship with an older person.
The initial idea was to provide electronic communication devices to care homes to end loneliness. We wanted to enable older people in care homes to keep in touch with their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of 2020, we had provided 148 devices at 305 care homes.
However, we know that blanket donations of devices alone will not go far enough to end loneliness
That's why we've now evolved to draw on our own skills as trained actors to tackle loneliness amongst older people by uniting them with the arts world.
We now offer a range of digital programmes to tackle elderly isolation.
“Connectforce Companions is an opportunity to harness artists’ unique skills to spread joy to the most vulnerable in our society, as well as providing fulfilment and inspiration for themselves."
Eleanor Sutton, co-founder and actor says:
So How Can the Arts Help?
Since the beginning of March 2020, a whole industry of talent is just waiting to be able to return to work.
We know however, that artists and performers are naturally good communicators. It therefore seemed like a natural fit to create relationships between artists and older people through virtual befriending programmes.
We are actively recruiting artists to join our virtual befriending programmes.
“The joy we have seen as a result of connecting older people with volunteers in the arts is immeasurable. It's imperative we support those most vulnerable in our society by connecting them with artists who care about harnessing their talents to help those who need it.”
Victoria Basten, co-founder and musical theatre performer:
Becoming a Volunteer
So what does a volunteer artist have to do?
The process is simple…
Click this link to begin your application. It will take you to our volunteer management platform, Better Impact. If you don’t have an Enhanced DBS check, you’ll see a link to apply for this too. Don’t worry - Connectforce will cover the cost!
Once you’ve completed your application, we’ll arrange a short induction call, as well as a virtual training session for all volunteers to fully prepare them for their Companion chats.
Congrats - you’re now a fully fledged member of the Connectforce Community!
The programme lasts for 8 weeks, and involves a weekly 20 minute video chat with your companion. We’ll arm you with tips and topics to talk about (if you need them), but essentially all that is required is friendliness, empathy and positivity - which we are sure you have in spades!